Imagine yourself on your deathbed. What are your thoughts: “no regrets” or “what if?”

The two most powerful words are “I Am,” for what you put after them shapes your reality. So ultimately, it’s you who decides what the end of your life looks like. You have the power to design your legacy.

Since I started my personal growth journey, I’ve come to learn that failure is an opportunity for redirection. It’s not permanent. You can always start again, and? It’s the best time to try something new.

In fact, you have the opportunity right now to give it a go.

Here’s how.

One Small Decision Could Alter Your Life

Everyone has a WHY. What helps you move forward when life has a different plan for you?

I lost my mother as a little girl and it shaped the woman I am today. My father raised me like a son, believing that I was capable of achieving things a man could accomplish, even if I were born Asian American.

He believed anything is possible if you’re willing to put in the work. And that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. I lucked out in that department.

What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the self-doubt from not having a built-in cheerleader, a mother, to believe in me. I would spend most of my life building around this void.

But I eventually learned to enjoy the fruits of my efforts — to know that I’m worthy of living a beautiful life.

You can’t accomplish great things if you don’t believe you deserve it.

What Will You Sacrifice for Your Goals?

You can have everything you want. Just not all at once. What are you willing to prioritize? Because every choice you make requires some sort of sacrifice.

If you want a fit body, you sacrifice time and certain foods to attain it. If your goal is to be an expert in your field, you figure out what you’re willing to trade for the ten thousand hours needed to become an authority in your niche.

Here are some of the things I gave up in my twenties to build the life I aspire to live — a life of freedom:

Giving up a shi*ty lifestyle. It’s hard to stay focused when you don’t feel good about yourself. Learning to live moderately by balancing discipline and pleasure will ensure you like your life: Get 8-hours of sleep, don’t drink too much, and find an exercise that you enjoy for at least 30-minutes a day.

Partying on weekends. This may seem odd when you’re young. But you’d be surprised by how many people are out there who enjoy dinner with drinks (or without) and good company. Once I ventured out to find these people, it was hardly a sacrifice at all.

Friends without purpose. To be outstanding, you have to give up being ordinary. You can’t do that if you’re surrounded by people who aren’t as commited as you are to self-growth. And you are the average of the people you spend the most time with.

These are just a few examples.

What are you willing to give up to become the best version of yourself?

Set up Your Environment for Success

“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”

– Mark Twain

If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be this:

“You don’t lack skill. You lack self-confidence. Starting something new is the hardest part. But if you start now, you’ll be light years ahead of the game.”

When things get hard and you feel like quitting, remind yourself that you’re still learning. And give yourself grace for having the courage to be terrible at something new.

After a while, something begins to shift. You master your craft by simply showing up. Then you start to gain momentum, and your confidence grows by doing things over, and over again.

It becomes a positive habit. The things you were once terrified of? They become second nature to you.

Because you’ve learned the skill of self-confidence. You have what it takes to achieve your goals.

Consistency is Key to Accelerated Growth

If you dare to dream, you need to have the strength to endure the setbacks. It’s easy to quit when life knocks you down, especially when you’re living for something so personal as a lifelong dream.

The best way to build a life I’m proud of was to treat it like a business by mechanicalizing the process without sacrificing passion.

You won’t always be motivated, so learn to be disciplined instead. You do that by showing up, even when you don’t feel like it, by laying the groundwork layer by layer.

“The two most powerful warriors are Patience and Time.”

Focus, practice, consistency are the least sexy ingredients behind every successful project. But no matter how much talent you lack, committed effort over time will lead to growth.

Unwavering focus, discipline, and practice will create improvements that compound with time, and you will become a better human being for it. It’s no easy feat, but the rewards are well worth it.

Consistency is the secret to mastering any craft.

Curate Your Inner Circle Wisely

I believe as long as you have the support of a strong community you will never go hungry.

Life is a team sport. So, curate your teammates wisely.

Surround yourself with people who strengthen you and challenge you and your dreams to higher heights. You will eventually grow into their expectations. But if you spend time with those who prevent you from growth, you will become a sad, sad version of yourself.

Your friendships will be different depending on your season of life. Befriend those who celebrate you as well as people who hold you accountable — the ones who push you to be better.

Friendships are a reflection of who you are as a person.

To keep your new lifestyle and habits, you must set up the right environment for this.

Life is a Special Occasion

It’s okay to fear change. You can only be brave if you’re afraid.

“Fear is like fire. You can make it work for you: it can warm you in the winter, cook your food when you’re hungry, give you light when you are in the dark and produce energy. Let it go out of control and it can hurt you, even kill you. Fear is a friend of exceptional people.”

– Cus D’Amato

Just remember that only you have the power to change your life. No one else will do it for you.

If you put in 110% and it still doesn’t work out? You won’t have any regrets. At least you went for it, which is more than a lot of people can admit.

It might not feel like it today. But one day you’ll be grateful that you didn’t allow fear to hold you back from living your fullest potential.